It is finally that time of year when we can say goodbye to cold, dark mornings and hello to bright, sunny mornings. Yes, it is finally spring! Spring isn’t only good for cleaning but also, of course, eating. It marks the start of a whole new season for many awesome foods that you need to start enjoying. So, before you break out that duster, have a read and find out what you should be eating this spring.
Asparagus: To kick off this list we start with a real superfood. While you can buy asparagus all year round now, it is never as fresh as it is in the spring. So there is no better time to start reaping the benefits of this underappreciated vegetable. Asparagus is packed full of something called folate, a B vitamin that helps with releasing serontin and boosting your mood. Not only that but asparagus has anti-cancer benefits, compounds that will help with anti-aging and has anti-inflammatory superpowers. The green variety is the most widely cultivated but it also comes in a white variety and also a smaller, purple coloured variety and all can be roasted, stir-fried or eaten raw in a salad.
Artichokes: You may not know but artichokes are actually a thistle but don’t worry we are not suggesting you snack on a thorny thistle for lunch. We have been enjoying this bizarre looking food since the time of the Egyptians and ever since the likes of Henry VIII have been enjoying its versatile potential. While Henry VIII wasn’t exactly thin, artichokes are a great food to gorge on and still lose weight thanks to their lack of fat and calories. There really isn’t much you can’t do with an artichoke you can grill it, throw it in a salad, make artichoke fritters, it can even be made into a liqueur called, Cynar, which makes great cocktails.
Watercress: If you are looking for a food to improve your health and shrink your waistline look no further. We have been enjoying the health benefits of watercress since the times of Hippocrates, who used the leafy green to treat his patients. Yet as more salad leaves became cultivated watercress became known as a poor man’s food but not anymore. With its anti-cancer properties, high vitamin count and high calcium concentration, watercress is finally being appreciated once again and you don’t have to scour the internet for endless watercress recipes. You can get a daily dose of the leafy green by chucking it into your morning smoothie, mix it into a soup or sauté with some olive oil for a baked potato, it really is that easy.
Collards Greens: Collard Greens are one of the least known members of the cruciferous vegetable family, with the likes of Cabbage and Broccoli hogging the lime light. But thanks to its likeness with last year’s must have healthy food, kale, 2015 could be Collard Greens’ time to shine. Collard Greens are a Southern U.S. cuisine staple so expect many recipes to include bacon, ham and pork but you can enjoy collards raw, with fish or in a delicious stew. It’s not just Southern America who enjoys collards, they are a staple in the likes of Brazil, Portugal and Kenya so you will be spoilt for recipe choices.
Morel Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a popular ingredient to many dishes in the UK but we tend to stick to what we know, the cup mushroom, due to its appeasing appearance, but venture out of the supermarket to find a world of mushroom varieties. Why not try one of the most treasured of the edible mushrooms, the Morel. The morel boasts a nutty, meaty flavour with a creamy, rich texture that makes it the perfect ingredient for sauces and soups. Not only are Morels tasty but they help boost your immune system and protect your liver, so forget those boring old mushrooms and try something new this spring.
Lychee: If spring is a time for newness; why not discover the magic of the lychee? Lychees possess a wealth of health benefits that will have you rushing down the supermarket buying them by the trolley full. They contain strong anti-cancer properties, normalizes heart rate and blood pressure and cure heartburn. All this and they are low in calories with no saturated fats or cholesterol and here’s the deal clincher, you can enjoy all these health benefits in a lychee martini. Thank us later.
Spring Onions: While spring onions do not boast the popularity of their cousin, the onion, they do boast an impressive amount of healthy benefits. Due to their high concentration of vitamin C, which helps strengthen bones and vitamin K, which maintains bone density, spring onions are essential for strong bones. Not only will spring onions help strengthen your bones but they will also fight off the flu and help lower blood sugar levels. And top it off, spring onions have an incredibly low calorie count. Win-win.
Jackfruit: Here at Gousto we love the exotic and different and you would be hard-pressed to find a fruit more exotic than the jackfruit. Native to India and Southeast Asia, where it is an agricultural staple, the Jackfruit is a mixture of apple, pineapple, banana and mango, with a sweet taste which makes it the perfect ingredient for custard, cakes and even ice cream. It’s high level of fibre works wonders on your digestion and thanks to the Jackfruit’s high water content it keeps skin healthy while also reducing wrinkles. It may be a bit of a struggle finding it at your local supermarket but ask at your local Asian grocers and they should have it a plenty.
Fennel: This hardy, versatile vegetable has enjoyed a rich history having played a part in Greek mythology and was favoured by the Romans for its medicinal health benefits. Its popularity is no surprise when you discover the superpowers it possesses. Thanks to a high concentration of calcium, fibre and vitamin C it works wonders for your digestion, skin and effectively fights inflammation. Fennel is an immensely versatile vegetable that is as happy in a salad as it is with a Salmon dish or even chucked into some herbal tea. So, if it’s good enough for the Romans it’s good enough for us!
Cherimoya: We have saved the weirdest till last. A Cherimoya, or Custard Apple or Ice Cream fruit (we know, they are the most delicious sounding fruit names ever), probably isn’t the sort of fruit you are used to seeing in your local supermarket but it’s worth seeking out. Native to the Andes, this fruit has some serious health benefits. Thanks to its high vitamin content research has discovered that it helps brain health and it has even been known to fight diseases like diabetes. But that’s not the best thing about this exotic delicacy, the fruit’s taste is a mixture of a banana, pineapple, papaya, peach and strawberry, making it the perfect fruit for deserts, making a delicious drizzle, a mouth-watering smoothie and why not impress everyone with a Cherimoya Cobblers?